2024 Anti-Trans Legislative Risk Map
December 30, 2023 10:54 AM   Subscribe

I have tracked anti-transgender legislation for 3 years @erininthemorn on Twitter and TikTok. Every day, I’ve gotten messages from worried people wondering how they are supposed to assess their risk of staying in their home state. The messages range from parents of trans youth wondering if their children will be taken from them to trans teachers wondering if their jobs will be safe in coming years. Sometimes people just want to know if there is a safer state they can move to nearby. Writer and trans activist Erin Reed has mapped the United States from the perspective of safety for trans individuals.

I created the legislative risk map specifically to help answer that question. Now more than ever, it is a question that needs answering for so many transgender people facing forced medical detransition, arrests for using the bathroom, bans on the use of our names, pronouns, and identification documents, and many other curtailments of our rights to exist in public life.

The first map is focused on Adult Anti-Trans Legislative Risk. The map at the end offers a Youth Trans Legislative Risk Assessment. Reed also breaks down the worst states and most protective states in the text of her newsletter if maps are not your thing.
posted by Bella Donna (18 comments total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
erin also maintains a map of informed consent clinics in the US for folks who want to start (or continue) HRT. her presence on twitter was a big deal to me after my egg cracked. (and before, i just didn't know it then.)

it's really, really bad for us out there. cis people, we need you to fight for us. we do not have the numbers or the structural power. it's easy to attack us. transphobia may be an electoral loser, as we have seen, but we're still in danger because evil people are already in power. and they're not going to stop trying.
posted by secret about box at 11:04 AM on December 30, 2023 [50 favorites]

The ACLU also maintains a legislation map that I find useful for keeping up on things.
posted by Well I never at 11:35 AM on December 30, 2023 [5 favorites]

This map had been so useful for when clueless cis people say it's not that bad
posted by june_dodecahedron at 11:58 AM on December 30, 2023 [15 favorites]

Thank you for posting this.
posted by joannemerriam at 12:01 PM on December 30, 2023 [1 favorite]

... with liberty and justice for all ... /s
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:27 PM on December 30, 2023 [2 favorites]

Don't look at these maps and pat yourself on the back for living in a blue state -- please seek to understand how privilege on different axes dramatically impacts safety, as well as health and economic outcomes for trans people. For example, there are simply stunning numbers around HIV prevalence among trans women in certain cities, and even with the general prevalence being shockingly high, there are even more dramatic racial disparities. A huge portion of Metafilter are middle class professionals. Don't just fight for the trans people you know, the ones who look like you. Maybe their/our vulnerability is what spurs you into action for once, but don't leave the rest of us out in the cold.
posted by hoyland at 1:42 PM on December 30, 2023 [25 favorites]

Maps and graphs are my thing, but I wish she would have reorganized her color scheme from lightest blue (safest) to black (most dangerous). Mixed up colors and the legend showing safest states next to the end above the most dangerous state made it confusing to my anti-trans neighbor who barely has patience to glance at it, let alone figure out dark brown is worst, but dark blue, rather than lightest blue is best. Anti-intuitive. A minor gritch, because this is the map we need.

That said, my biggest concern with this map is the horrible fear that in the future it will show more dark browns and fewer dark blues. Texas should have black blotches slowly spreading like a rabies infection. What horrible things are happening there.

It's important that this information be out there, so kudos to writer Reed for putting out the map. But ultimately trans people and parents of trans kids can't afford--financially, mentally, emotionally--to be perambulating all over the map in the hope that they will be able to settle and live their lives without persecution. Well I never's legislation map is a good one to follow. Very concise about what has been happening here with an easy link to the text of the latest bills and their status and a reminder to me to stay informed and active.

Everyone needs a safe place to live. May you all find one.
posted by BlueHorse at 2:01 PM on December 30, 2023 [14 favorites]

Wish I could be happier that my state (Pennsylvania) is showing blue. Our state rep--a Democrat but kind of the Manchin variety--saw fit to vote in lockstep with his R colleagues on some key transgender legislation here. I got into it about this with his campaign staff when they came knocking last election, and their position was essentially "Well, it's vote for Frank or our district goes red." Cold comfort.
posted by Rykey at 5:58 PM on December 30, 2023 [6 favorites]

Thank you for posting this.

Especially for those who want to follow the rise in anti-trans legislation and its impacts, as well as victories in stemming that rise, and if you find legal analysis interesting, Erin's newsletter is very worth it.

I also find the intersection between anti-trans and anti-abortion legal actions interesting (while I know that trivially they are both at least about control, and fear).

And because it's worth more than just favoriting, to build on two points:

secret about box's point about how serious this is cannot be said strongly enough. Please help!!!
(e.g. donate to Lambda Legal, ACLU and other places so they can fight the legal fights, donate to or volunteer in homeless shelters that support queer youth (e.g. urban peaks in Denver, Trevor project), support local community groups and mutual aid, etc. that are helping resettle refugees, be engaged in your community, fight fascism more broadly, etc.)

hoyland's point about how life is not all roses in "blue" states - another example is that all across the country, queer youth experience homelessness at significantly higher rates than straight and cis counterparts (especially trans youth of color). Let's not forget that the dark blue state of Colorado was witness to the Club Q shooting. That is, this is a legal safety map specifically limited to the trans experience, and neither an accurate reflection for many people of felt safety or experience, especially those marginalized by society due to other aspects of their lives or identities. Even dark blue states still have so much work to do to protect, support, and celebrate the lives of all the humans living in them.

And, to not accidentally minimize the impact of these legal efforts to dehumanize, erase, and injure trans people, let me just say again that these laws are absolutely awful, harmful, and scary.
posted by lab.beetle at 6:20 PM on December 30, 2023 [10 favorites]

I see this map, as I’ve seen the developments of the map, and I’m scared. Scared enough to finally look into getting my passport; scared enough to try to figure out the best way to run.

The map is “where isn’t it illegal to exist and be trans”.

What scares me is how fast things can change, and so I wonder how fast I can actually run.
posted by mephron at 7:57 PM on December 30, 2023 [7 favorites]

Hire trans women. Everybody agrees we should have jobs. Nobody hires us.

Hire the clocky ones, hire the odd ones.

Listen to us and stick up for us. Refuse to tolerate transphobic speech from others. Boycott media the very second somebody makes us a punchline. Which, I might add, is still a staple of lazy comedy writers. Lambda legal and shelters are all well and good, but even better are chances for trans people to socially and economically engage.

We're not mysterious downtrodden others. We're people, same as you. Sit with that until it clicks. Break out of the habit of lumping us into some pathetic people box and engage with us.

Organizations help in far-off ways. There are operating costs. Often queer orgs don't really listen to us anyway. Or they're only concerned with young and conventionally presenting trans people. My city's nationwide trans org devours a ton off grant money and does very little with it that helps anywhere anyone here.

And that compounds the difficulty.

Being otherd gets so tiresome. We are people. We're your neighbors. This is happening to people in your city, state, country. Has been for a long time. Listen. Sit with your discomfort.
posted by She Vaped An Entire Sock! at 4:43 AM on December 31, 2023 [21 favorites]

Erin Reed is brilliant and kind, and I am so lucky to have met her. Earlier this year, one of my dear chosen family members moderated the first panel entirely of transgender and nonbinary individuals to speak in Georgetown University's Gaston Hall. That panel included Erin Reed, her fiancee Rep. Zooey Zephyr, Charlotte Clymer, and Rep. Mauree Turner. It was profoundly meaningful to me, a trans person, to witness a panel of trans brilliance during this time of vitriolic legislation against trans lives.
posted by wicked_sassy at 5:26 AM on December 31, 2023 [9 favorites]

We're thinking of moving to Colorado from New Jersey, and looking at this map... I mean it's blue, so that's... great? But if this were a game of Risk...
posted by tigrrrlily at 10:15 AM on December 31, 2023 [1 favorite]

We're thinking of moving to Colorado from New Jersey, and looking at this map... I mean it's blue, so that's... great?

That's the downfall of all these maps--they're extremely flattening. I used to be annoyed at the "here's state rules about gender marker changes" maps (I mean, I still am, but they're less popular now) because they always completely ignored that "requires surgery" is not a meaningful statement for transmasculine people (except for one previous iteration of Illinois's policy, which explicitly said "no specific surgery"). Ditto the informed consent clinic map referenced above. It's obviously not possible to be exhaustive, but additionally, strictly speaking the term "informed consent clinic" is meaningless.
posted by hoyland at 11:31 AM on December 31, 2023 [2 favorites]

I mean, NJ has an executive order protecting trans people and a pretty decent site about being trans in nj (transgender.nj.gov) but again, it’s an executive order and if the next governor is a MAGAt it could all go away really fast, as Hoyland mentioned.
posted by mephron at 4:55 PM on December 31, 2023 [1 favorite]

I live in NJ and I was happy to see that we are blue. However, the ACLU that Well I never linked to shows 6 anti-trans bills currently in the legislature. We are a Democratic-led state, but there are definite deep red pockets here.

On the other hand, last year we passed legislation to protect pregnant people coming here from other states for abortions. So my hope is that the majority protect the rights of trans people as much as they did the rights of pregnant people.
posted by ceejaytee at 10:29 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]

I live in NJ and I was happy to see that we are blue. However, the ACLU that Well I never linked to shows 6 anti-trans bills currently in the legislature. We are a Democratic-led state, but there are definite deep red pockets here.

fwiw, i think all states have seen this; illinois saw a few the last few sessions and they've thus far died in committee thanks to a democratic supermajority.

but the danger is always there.

for the good of society ... the Republican Party must be eradicated from public life entirely — the whole preposterous ideology, at every level.
posted by i used to be someone else at 6:51 PM on January 2 [2 favorites]

I find it hard to not hate these sorts of things because they're functionally useless beyond the basics of certain types of legal protections. And no, i'm not talking about day to day safety or "vibes".

For example, in my dark blue super-good state there's essentially no surgical care in the one major city, and a stark lack of any kind of clinics for day to day care. Basically all the hospitals here are tied to churches and religious orgs in some way, and have quietly squeezed it out the same way they do with abortion access stuff in some states. One surgeon went to war over this legally for ages to little effect.

It's so bad that for years the solution was that most insurance would send you to a neighboring state. And this isn't the northeast where you can drive through 3 states in 2 hours. When it was finally an in state option, it was a 5 to 6 hour drive from the city. It's still faster to leave the state.

On the clinic front, it's a mess of private clinics with huge wait lists who only open them from time to time, overloaded major hospital network clinics with huge wait times for intake appointments, and a planned parenthood network that was the last in the country to do gender affirming care, and stopped accepting new patients after covid hit... and hasn't since. It's so bad that one of the private clinics has their own monthly mini-insurance you can pay into since they don't accept outside insurance. The only real alternative is to pay into expensive private insurance like Kaiser, and go through their clinics.

There is literally no like "queer health center" Callen Lorde type place like most major cities have, despite this being seen as Big Name Major Liberal City.

This is a particularly fucked set of circumstances, but it's not the only Dark Blue State with a fraught setup. Just the one i'm particularly pissed about, and love to rant about.

I have friends who moved here from "bad" states where day to day care, and surgeons were much easier to access who are deeply confused why things are so fucked in the supposedly good place. Onerous laws are concerning, and worth fighting, but don't always paint a real picture of life in the "good" places.

What i'll close with is, a few years ago washington passed, with little fanfare, a seemingly groundbreaking law requiring any insurance in the state to cover basically any trans related treatment in WPATH a doctor said you needed. This should have been an amazing event, giving everyone coverage like what you'd get with the old, pre union busting starbucks insurance. What happened? Most surgeons/offices/etc that you could pay out of pocket for, or get insurance like starbucks to pay for, just stopped accepting most insurance. And NONE of them take medicaid. All it did was move the goalpost of where care is denied from insurance to the actual surgeons offices.

posted by emptythought at 12:57 AM on January 6 [3 favorites]

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